Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, on Thursday, announced the plan to ease the eight-week lockdown against COVID-19 pandemic to allow normal businesses to operate from Monday to Friday.
Abiodun told journalists in Abeokuta that the ease of the lockdown will take effect from June 1.
According to him, the ease would be allowed between 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays while the lockdown would still be in force on Saturdays and Sundays.
“This second phase has two major elements of further relaxation of the restrictions and expansion in the number of days, in contrast to the current three days of Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“This new phase opens up all the five working days in the week.
“In addition, there will be no time restriction from Monday to Friday, with the exception of the curfew period from 8.00 p.m. or as may be directed by the President.
“Let no one make a mistake; from all available data and simulations, we are yet to reach our peak.
“Consequently, the further easing of the lockdown is not a license to believe that all is over,’’ the governor said.
He also said that it was important to note that the current ease of the lockdown should not be taken to mean that the COVID-19 pandemic was over.
The governor reminded residents that the ban on religious activities was still in force.
He added that the government would, by next week, finalized the guidelines for lifting the ban on religious activities.
“Gyms, event centers, cinemas, arcades, bars, casinos, nightclubs, swimming pools, barber-shops, spas, beauty salons, and all public parks, including those in private residential estates will not be allowed, even during this new phase of relaxation,’’ he said.
57 health workers contract Covid-19 in Plateau- Official
The Commissioner for Health in Plateau, Dr Nimkong Lar, has said that 57 health workers were infected with COVID-19 in the course of their legitimate duties in various health centres in the state.
Lar stated this at a press briefing after an executive council meeting on Wednesday in Jos.
He said that they were workers managing COVID-19 patients in primary health centres, hospitals and private clinics across the state.
According to him, the state has a total of 571 confirmed cases with a record of 28 cases on Tuesday, which is the highest recorded so far.
“We have conducted 9,039 test, we have 7,324 results and 1,715 pending while 571 are confirmed cases.
”132 are on admission in four treatment centres, 260 discharged and we have recorded 16 deaths,” the commissioner said.
He noted that the state was organising community testing in the 17 Local Government Areas which was voluntary, adding that it had scheduled conducting a test for the government and Non-Governmental Organisations.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Dan Manjang said that government would take disciplinary action against civil servants who refused to submit themselves for COVID-19 test.
Manjang said that the exercise which was supposed to be voluntary has been made compulsory for them.
He said that refusal to comply was a sign of insubordination which the Head of Service of the state has been mandated to handle appropriately.
He urged the public not to stigmatise people submitting themselves for the test, saying it was not a death sentence as many patients had recovered from the disease.
Manjang further said that the executive meeting reviewed the 2020 budget downward, following the current pandemic and that the federal allocation and the internally generated revenue had been affected.
“The budget was formerly N177.3 billion but scaled down to N99,907 billion to make it realistic,” he said.
Also, Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Sylvester Wallangko, explained that the revised budget was in compliance with the directive to ensure that a minimum of 10 per cent budget expenditure was COVID-19 related.
“We have earmarked 11.29 per cent of our expenditure spread between the recurrent and capital expenditure on COVID-19 related issues which is N11.25 billion,” Wallangko said.
Nigeria records 643 new COVID-19 cases, total now 34,259
Nigeria has reported 643 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 34,259.
This is according to the latest figures released on Wednesday night in a tweet by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The new cases were recorded in 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Lagos State maintained its lead position with 230 new infections while the FCT recorded 51 cases.
The remaining 17 states with new infections are Oyo – 69, Edo – 43, Osun – 35, Rivers and Ebonyi each having 30 cases, Kaduna – 28, Ogun – 27, Ondo – 23, Plateau – 20, Benue – 17, Enugu – 16 and Imo – 10.
Others include Delta – 6, Kano – 4, Nasarawa – 2 with Kebbi, and Ekiti each having 1 case.
NCDC noted that a total of 13,999 patients have recovered and have been discharged, while the country’s death toll stands at 760.
Bayelsa lament delay in getting COVID-19 test results
The Bayelsa Government says it sends about 50 samples of suspected COVID-19 patients to laboratories daily for testing.
The government said that while the state has no problem with collecting samples it has been facing difficulties with getting test results on time.
Dr Jones Stowe, the Director of Public Health and member of the state COVID-19 Task Force disclosed this in a telephone interview on Wednesday in Yenagoa.
Stowe, who also gave an update of the pandemic in the state, said that Bayelsa had so far recorded 318 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 18 fatalities.
“147 active cases and a total of 153 persons have been discharged,” he said.
He, however, noted that the state only has an isolation centre with 200 beds capacity and an additional quarantine facility of 50 beds.
“We do not have any challenges in collecting samples; the difficulties we are facing mainly delay in releasing results from the laboratories.
“Most of these laboratories in Port Harcourt, Rivers and Edo states are very busy with loads of samples, sometimes they even run out of reagents and consumables.
“Well, the state is at an advanced stage of setting up community isolation facilities.
“Assessment has been carried out on more health facilities for the possibility of setting up more sample collection centres as well as screening points in most health facilities in Yenagoa,” the director said.
He urged the public to continue to imbibe the regular and thorough handwashing with soap and water and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
“Always keep social distancing, at least two meters (6 feet) distance between you and anyone. Avoid crowds. Always wear a face mask in any public place.
“Endeavour to practice good respiratory hygiene; when sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve at the flexed elbow or with a tissue. Then dispose-off the used tissue safely, immediately.
“Exposed persons should stay home if you feel unwell with symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing and notify relevant authorities immediately,” Stowe advised.
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